022 – Naman Desai of Quo – Enabling Collaboration and Engagement

Real estate agent + client collaboration platform…

Naman Desai, Co-Founder at Quo (which simplifies real estate agent + client collaboration via a platform and mobile app) joins Thomas Kutzman and Scott Pollack in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

In this episode:

  • A customer engagement tool that empowered brokers, allowing them to work closer with clients, increasing efficiency
  • How the app allows agents and clients to search and share listings together in one place, as a neat and organized way to keep track of properties they view, with the ability to take notes and store photos, better streamlining the process to make better decisions more quickly
  • Allowing the app to maintain a place as preferred place to engage and track real estate opportunities and clients
  • How Quo gives brokers an app to put in their clients’ hands, positioning the broker as more tech-forward
  • How Quo can help speed up process of scheduling a viewing, with automation, and reduces time lag
  • More feedback opportunities for the client, providing a good data and analytics resource
  • Building out algorithms to suggest properties actively
  • Obvious use case in New York City, but why in Cleveland?
  • Looking to integrate CSS, zero lag time
  • Is the tool more vertical vs. suburban?
  • Markets with a lot of buyer and seller activity
  • How Quo started as a concierge service for renters looking for new apartments
  • How the co-founders realized a lot of people had a similar knack for helping people in the real estate space to help with real estate process; and, as the company grew and looked to scale, it started doing focus groups and one was people helping with what worked for them — and the biggest was when they had a friend that helped them
  • Agents wanted the communication platform, not the concierge service
  • Pivoting to the communication tool
  • Data in which people said what they wanted and so Quo followed it
  • Not so stuck on idea that they wouldn’t listen, letting customers guide where they go
  • Getting consensus on a change in company direction, and how the co-founders were married to solving a problem — not on the way to solve it
  • The importance of continuing focus groups
  • The pushback from brokers — overcoming friction in getting clients to download the app
  • A must-have feature was a team collaboration piece
  • Being comfortable with changes in business, such as pivoting in his previous business ClassPass
  • Real estate as learned behavior vs. in the blood, etc?
  • Taking risk in business and startups
  • How finding one’s passion brings the opportunity to make more than anywhere else by doing what one thinks is right
  • Fear of missing out

021 – Francesca Loftus of hOM – Amenities, Data, and Bouncy Houses

hOM

Developing community with residential and office properties and gathering data by providing technology-enabled amenities for tenants…

hOMFrancesca Loftus, CEO of hOM (technology-enabled amenity provider that partners with residential and office properties to develop community by providing on-site fitness programming and unique events for tenants) joins Thomas Kutzman and Scott Pollack in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

In this episode:

  • How Loftus became focused on amenities
  • The company’s focus on amenities, especially in commercial buildingshOM
  • The cash outlay to adjust floors is a big step, so offering programming or events in a vacant space or available accessible spaces is a useful alternative
  • The genesis of the idea, two of her cofounders are in fitness and real estate, her background in theater management,
  • Some success because of the proximity of buildings to fitness studios
  • Selling to amenities managers
  • Most managers have tried other things, trying to be on trend with other buildings, then contact them to execute, cant do it themselves
  • Despite offering a wide range, fitness is most requested and engaging, yoga leads that interest
  • The hOM programs are unique and catch people’s attentionhOM
  • Mini golf, bouncy houses, partnerships to execute and deliver in diversity
  • Building community gives an edge for landlords
  • Figuring out a model to provide benefits to fitness instructors, finding it was actually cost effective,
  • Why Loftus was forced to be smarter how running business
  • Utility players with the ability to get anecdotal data on the building, valuable team members but tough to find
  • Looking at people with their whole selves i.e. developers and yoga teacher
  • Listening for grit and experience (28 full time employees and 50 part time)hOM
  • Loftus is from Canada, ended up in New York, from a competitive girls prep school, full college ride in mathematics, wanted to go to NY for theater, ended up managing a theater at 17 years old, having a public facing “beard”, doing a lot of programming work
  • Being curious about everything, having a dual role as performer and manager
  • The kind of culture in the hOM office with meditation and breath-work, the company’s C3P0, rituals in the office
  • Putting a voice to the tenants of buildings, creating incentive to communicate with them and close a gap of communication

020 – Yin Lin of Sage Vacations – Vacation Rentals As a Group Experience

Yin Lin

Short-term vacation rentals for groups…

Yin LinYin Lin, Founder/COE of Sage Vacations (a private real estate company with 10 vacation properties across the country, and partnering with institutions and investors to acquire, develop, and commercialize its property investments) and Founder of SheWorx (global collective of ambitious high-growth female entrepreneurs redefining leadership) joins Thomas Kutzman and Scott Pollack in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

In this episode:

  • Lin discusses acquiring and commercializing residential property, undervalued property valuesYin Lin
  • Distributing them on short term rental sites
  • Developing a short term rental portfolio.
  • There is a demand for large spaces for groups who cannot get same experience in standard hotel rooms
  • Looking at lesser known cities with high regional tourism, emerging cities
  • The experience of a space needs to be great, and the people feel the sense of community
  • Creating great experiences, and getting buy-in from the community for creating a network
  • Creating more bespoke developments which cater to the needs of the audienceYin Lin
  • How short term rentals have changed the vacation model, and the future of it depends largely on regulation
  • Why professionalism of short-term rentals reduces risk all around
  • How Lin got into the business
  • Part of Lin’s inspiration in building her business and portfolio is wanting to help women build wealth through real estate
  • What marathons have meant to Lin in understanding herself and her potential
  • Running in 5 continents so far, and what about Ironman competitions

019 – Isabel Berney and Truth Oladapo of Vacayo – Why Landlords are Falling in Love with Vacation Rentals

Vacayo

Leasing long-term rentals and converting them into outstanding vacation homes which provide landlords higher income and eliminate vacancy risk with Vacayo…

VacayoIsabel Berney (COO/Co-Founder) and Truth Oladapo (CEO/Co-Founder) of Vacayo join Thomas Kutzman and Scott Pollack in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

In this episode:

  • Helping people earn passive income and have upward mobility via real estate, and how landlords can short term rental their home
  • Absorbing the risk for the landlord, making possible to monetize asset right away, guaranteeing a certain rent and lease, furnish and manage the rental
  • Eliminating the need to be a landlord
  • Most people don’t want to be a landlord, it is just a path to passive income
  • Vacayo eliminates the need to be a landlord, by Vacayo being the tenant and the manager
  • How Berney and Olapdapo didn’t realize this was a business that could be scaled until they were well into it, how it grew organically into an arbitrage model that was thought out, but the service aspect grew also organically, and how the model was suggested by a landlord when Olapado was hacking wires in a buildingVacayo
  • Guaranteeing an income stream for the property that is generally higher than the market
  • How Vacayo can furnish a space within 48 hours
  • Being able to expand completely remotely, giving the supers the playbook, and how they can roll out and expand quickly into new markets
  • Why data assists with determining the true value of a home including rental potential
  • Startups are demanding and time consuming, ideal calling for a parent, complete flexibility over time, doing something you love that can be lucrative
  • And–managing rentals on Mars?

018 – Yale Fox of Rentlogic – Rating Rentals

Rentlogic

Unbiased, data-driven ratings for every apartment building in New York City…

RentlogicYale Fox, CEO of Rentlogic (looks at a building’s history over time and rates it for quality and safety) joins Thomas Kutzman and Scott Pollack in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

In this episode:

  • Creating a ratings system for apartment buildingsRentlogic
  • List of standards built into an iPhone app
  • Basic standards include heat, hot water, no mold or roaches
  • Corporate relocations into quality housing gives better chance employees won’t end up in low quality housing which can affect work performance, and for international students, affect academic performance
  • One of only few ways to differentiate the rental product when similar buildings and location
  • Ratings available online, and signageRentlogic
  • Data certifications, increasing transparency
  • The genesis of the company from fighting in court and taking advice from a judge
  • Becoming a partner in a club and being a DJ, getting attention from a blog article
  • Trends from how open data is evolving from real estate spaceRentlogic
  • How Rentlogic is a socially responsible product
  • Canadian bands, Spotify, and music licensing rights
  • And — the first talking dog is intentionally profane?